Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The latest controversy over the consumption of halal food by nonadherents of the Muslim faith is a direct offshoot of the growing phobia since 9/11, exacerbated by the US administration of President Donald Trump.

This certification, together with that of Jewish and Hindu groups, was brought about by these groupings’ strict dietary requirements, with special reference to pork (in the case of Muslims and Jews), and for those belonging to the Hindustani sect the avoidance of meat, particularly beef.

The question of profiteering is hardly one to be raised as these verifying bodies are registered as non-profit organisations.

Also, what is overlooked is the fact that manufacturers, whose client bases are predominantly Christian, have not been vilified for their acquiescence in having their products certified, instead focusing on the certifiers.

There is no compulsion for anyone who does not belong to those religions to consume any product bearing the three logos as many shops, especially the Spar group, have in-house lines that are free of such labelling.

What is lost in this argument is the medically proven facts concerning the effects of pork consumption. The recent listeriosis outbreak, in which almost 200 people died, was a direct result of the consumption of pork or nonhalal processed meats. In the halal case, the key factor is cleanliness and noncontamination with other unacceptable meats.

The assertion that products bearing the three logos is an enforced attempt to spread these faiths is contemptuous and an attempt to work against harmonious relationships between the many diverse groups residing in this country.

AR Modak